Thursday, 27 August 2009


A sample of Malcolm X's 1964 speech to the Oxford Union - riffing on "change", the buzzword du jour - leads into "Supermagic", a crackling opening statement which, in just 150 seconds, manages to cram in references to everything from the celebrated Turkish musician Selda Bagcan to Mary Poppins. It's an exhilarating introduction and a firm declaration of intent. This is a politicised album with a truly global outlook, not simply in terms of the wealth of musical touchstones - samples come from sources as diverse as Ihsan al-Munzer, Banda Black Rio, Fela Kuti and Bobby Hebb - but also in its willingness to engage with the wider world rather than indulge in pettifogging feuds and join-the-dots braggadocio.

Read my review of Mos Def's The Ecstatic in this week's New Statesman. Along with Checkmate Savage, My Maudlin Career and the forthcoming Mark Eitzel album, Klamath, it's one of the albums of the year.


Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on the new Eitzel record... can you say more about it?

Graeme Thomson said...

It's one of his best, I think. Dark blue, very 'late night' and beautiful.

If you're a big Eitzel fan, this piece I wrote last year for the Guardian might interest you: